SAN FRANCISCO, June 08, (THEWILL) – The proposed indefinite strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has been suspended for one week to allow the House of Representatives intervene between them and the executive.
According to a statement issued by the Speaker’s spokesman, Turaki Hassan, the suspension of the strike, which was scheduled to commence on Thursday, was achieved in a meeting between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara and NARD, convened at Dogara’s instance in Abuja.
Dogara while speaking asked for a week for the House to meet with the Minister of Health and fashion out ways to meet the demands of the resident doctors and address lingering grievances which was granted.
“It doesn’t matter what faith you profess, for instance, it is clearly stated in the Holy Bible that a labourer should be paid his wages even before his sweat dries,” he said.
“I believe that as a responsible government we know this. It is not like we don’t know. But as to challenges facing you, these are not things that we had discussed before, I only heard through the briefings I was given.
“If it is possible for you to open this window for us in the immediate to call on relevant persons who are in charge of this, in conjunction, of course, with active participation of your good selves, the relevant committees of the House, so we can sit at a table like this.
“I can sit down with the Chairmen of committees, some members of the relevant committees, with your good selves and members of the ministry and they can bring these issues so we’ll understand why someone will work for four to eight months and not be paid.
“I appeal to you to give us till next week when I hope we will be able to invite them and we will sit down together and iron out the issues.
“Imagine a situation where all the resident doctors in Nigeria are on strike, what will happen to the people we represent? Democracy’s first promise is life, thereafter liberty, the third promise is the pursuit of happiness. And all of them rest on each other, if you don’t have life, then you cannot begin to talk of liberty, if you don’t have liberty then you cannot begin to talk about happiness.
“It should be the responsibility of government, actually, to ensure that those who are rendering services, those who are working, providing the vents by which the nation moves, should be able to enjoy not just their salaries, but every other benefit surrounding their scheme of service.”